Private Dancer: in brief
The exotically named Sage Snakechalmer—who has been a triathlete, model, poet and entertainment entrepreneur—now ventures into professional acting, starring in her own play about the private demons of silver-screen sex goddess Rita Hayworth. Bob Degus directs a production that incorporates filmed sequences.
Private Dancer: theater review by Diane Snyder
Although it claims to be about Rita Hayworth, Private Dancer is the theatrical equivalent of the selfie. A herky-jerky solo vehicle by and for Sage Snakechalmer, it puts snapshots from Hayworth’s turbulent life into a self-help scenario worthy of Dr. Phil. In a program note, Snakechalmer mentions identifying with the ’40s film goddess, whose offscreen life was fraught with pain and abuse, but her play is all woebegone monologues asking what self-love’s got to do with it.
Rita chats on the phone, lambasts gossip columnists and gazes in the mirror a lot, unsure of the line between image and identity. Snakechalmer is stiff onstage—though she looks lovely in Zac Posen dresses, loosens up a little when dancing and has presence in the film sequences (where director Bob Degus’s experience lies). What we see in the flesh, however, is no more refined than most samples of smartphone self-portraiture.—Theater review by Diane Snyder
THE BOTTOM LINE This solo tribute to a film star is all surface.
Follow Diane Snyder on Twitter: @DianeLSnyder
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